Yesterday was a rather surreal day.
It started off with lack of sleep which tends to affect the mental faculties a bit.
So I half dozed for the morning.
Then I cut the grass, for the second time this year. That is a long process as we have a lot of lawn, and even though I have a tractor mower, it still knackers me out a bit. So we now have a lovely lawn and a five foot high pile of grass cuttings.
In the afternoon our K8 turned up with the grandchildren and we had a lovely afternoon sitting in the sun and watching the granddaughter chase bubbles on the breeze.
So far – a normal sort of day.
But then things got strange.
I am a complete newcomer to Skype, and have only made a couple of calls on it. But I suddenly found myself involved in a podcast. In America. And this was being recorded for broadcast, so I had to watch my language. I was chatting to Brianf, Jefferson and Dr. Don. Dario tried to join in but there were problems with his connection. So I was the only European representative in America. A big responsibility!
So here I was, sitting in my armchair, chatting to people I have never met. It was like joining a table of people in a pub, and picking things to talk about. I had read these people’s blogs, so I knew a bit about them, and they knew a bit about me, so we weren’t total strangers.
Here we were, sitting around this table and just having a chat and a laugh. But it struck me then – where was this table? Mentally, I was over in America [the first time I have been there!], but physically I was in my armchair. I then realised that I was in cyberspace and it was a strange out-of-body experience.
To make matters worse, the physical world kept interrupting the cyberworld. Here I was, chatting away about American television or something, and a friend arrives at the back door [in the country, we always use the back door], to I had to rapidly materialise in the real world, like something out of Star Trek, and greet the friend.
“Sorry” says I, “but I’m chatting to a group of friends in America and they are recording it live”
She looked a bit taken aback, but she knows my eccentricities and beat a hasty retreat. But Sandy got out so I had to chase her around the garden to get her back in again.
And then I had to de-materialise back into cyberspace again. I don’t know how they survived in Star Trek because this beaming business is mentally very tiring, and confusing.
Another problem with cyberspace is that I was there mentally and verbally, but I couldn’t see anything. It is amazing how much we rely on visual clues when chatting. You can tell by a persons demeanour when they are about to finish what they are saying, or whether they want you to shut up. People might subconsciously raise a finger if they have something to contribute. But in cyberspace, that doesn’t happen. So there were a few silences, and a lot of interrupting. All the normal rules had gone out the window.
At the end of it all [and it went on for a couple of hours], I was completely exhausted, both mentally and physically.
I collapsed in my other armchair, and Herself tried to bring me up to date on a film she was watching.
But of course, my life is never that simple. I then had to try to round up a very excitable albino deaf boxer dog that had got trapped in the garden. He had found a hedgehog and was dancing in circles around it.
And having restored the boxer to its rightful owner, I had to sit in the darkness and wait for the hedgehog to uncurl, because I wanted to photograph it. I like hedgehogs.
I waited ages. Then I nipped indoors for two seconds to get a glass of water. When I came out again, of course the bugger had gone.
I’m writing this now [indoors] and there is a tit flying in circles over my head. He’ll find the door eventually, but he just adds to my surreal existence.
And they say life is quiet when you retire….
Addendum to the above..
The resulting podcast can be heard at The Jefferson Davis Podcast. Thankfully, it has been heavily edited!